How to give a good toast
You know you'll have to at some point ...
You're at an awards dinner. It could be a grand opening or even a retirement party. You must say a few words but need help figuring out how to do it. It's a special occasion, so you want to give your audience a warm feeling, but you don't want to get too corny and make them cringe. So here are five simple tips to remember for your next toast.
1. START WITH THE OBVIOUS
Talk about what's in common with everyone: Why are you here together in the first place? The easiest way to create that connection is to talk about what's in common with everyone: Why are you here together in the first place?
2. SHARE SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF
Now that your audience is thinking about the same thing, you want to instill a familiar feeling about it while consolidating their focus on you. The best way to do that is by telling them a quick story about yourself relevant to the situation.
3. STICK WITH SHORT SENTENCES.
Nothing kills attention faster than somebody who drones on and on. The best remedy for that is to speak in short sentences. The quicker the ruling, the greater the punch.
4. DARE TO BE DIFFERENT
Don't hesitate to capitalize on your unique talents. Most toasts send pretty formulaically, so if there's something that only you can do that seems tasteful and appropriate to the situation, go for it!
5. MAKE SURE YOU DON'T EMBARRASS ANYONE
If you're celebrating someone's achievement or toasting a friend at a wedding, it can be tempting to include an embarrassing story to get a laugh out of an audience. Toasts can be nerve-wracking because it's only on rare occasions that we have to stand up and give them. But keep
these basic pointers in mind, and you'll leave your listeners with something memorable–for the right reasons.
About Charlie Perkins
Charlie Perkins is an author, musician, photographer, and videographer based in Rochester. The Chicago-bred Perkins attended Northwestern University concentrating on Radio, TV Broadcasting, and Interpersonal Communications. He spent 29 years at Harris Bank in Chicago and taught “Principles of Corporate Television” Columbia College in the same city. He has also spent 17 years as Unit Manager, Media Support Services for the Mayo Clinic. In a previous life, he covered the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan’s championship run, ’96-‘98 as a freelance photographer.